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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Texas A&M defense puts Aggies in position to upset No. 13 Kentucky

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Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Junior linebacker Tyrel Dodson and sophomore defensive back Derrick Tucker celebrate while walking off the field.

Wearing throwback uniforms to honor the 1998 Southwest Conference champions, Texas A&M’s defense replicated the legend of “The Wrecking Crew” — at least for this game.
With the game on the line in overtime, senior defensive lineman Kingsley Keke came up with the Aggies’ biggest play of the year thus far. Keke’s sack helped the Aggies seal a 20-14 upset win over No. 13 Kentucky at home. 
On third and two at the A&M 17 yard line, Keke was able to wrap Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson and force the Wildcats to attempt a field goal. UK’s Miles Butler missed the 43-yard field goal which bounced on the bottom bar to give A&M the ball back. 
In the second half and overtime, the A&M defense held Kentucky to 66 yards. Keke said A&M’s ability to stop the Wildcats started way before kickoff.
“It all started from practice,” Keke said. “That’s the way we practice. It was nothing new to us. You’ve got to be able to stop the run in this league to succeed.”
The last time the Aggies defeated a ranked opponent at home was in 2016 against then No. 9 Tennessee, which A&M also won in double-overtime. A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said that before the game, he told his team there was no need to feel pressured to win against a ranked opponent. 
“I don’t say it was a ‘had to win game,'” Fisher said. “Whether we win or lose, this isn’t a make or break deal.”
Junior linebacker Tyrel Dodson said going into the game, the defense knew how critical it was for them to contain the SEC leading rusher Benny Snell, Jr. Despite only holding Snell to 60 total yards in the game, Dodson was not pleased with the outcome.
“We’re not satisfied, because he should’ve had zero yards,” Dodson said. “We’ve got to go back to work Monday.”
Junior running back Trayveon Williams, who scored the game winning touchdown in overtime, said A&M wouldn’t have been able to upset Kentucky without the defense’s lights out performance. 
“The defense had an outstanding day,” Williams said. “They went out there and played at a high level. They stopped the run, limited [Kentucky’s] quarterback. Defense had a great game. … I’m glad to call them my defense.”
During the post-game press conference, Keke was asked if the team was the new Wrecking Crew. After a small chuckle, Keke responded with a simple answer. 
“I guess something like it,” Keke said. 

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